Now is the Time

Implemental Slumber by tielji
Implemental Slumber, a photo by tielji on Flickr.
In my mind, I am a terribly wonderful friend to have. Sweet, giving, understanding, easy to get along with and lots of fun to hang out with.

And I am. Some of the time.

But I also seem to have another person living in me. Another person who can make a guest appearance at any given, random time. This person is nasty, peevish, cruel, judgmental, ruuuuude, and irrational to say the least.

I shouldn't say that this person shows up randomly - it really isn't as random as I would like. She can show up any random time I am drinking.

I have spent the last 15 years trying to decipher her code, trying to ward off her appearance and to somehow predict her pattern. She just does so much damage all the while using my name and my mouth.

Maybe she only comes when I don't eat enough before I drink. Or maybe I shouldn't drink cheap(er) alcohol. Maybe I was just out of my element this time, giving her a foot in the door. Perhaps I was really emotional this time drinking and that brought her around. Maybe I just don't metabolize alcohol the same since I quit smoking, and my body will come back in to balance with time. Maybe it was because I was hormonal. Or maybe I shouldn't mix my alcohols. Maybe I should only drink wine. Or beer. Or blahblahblah ad nauseum..

It is sad how much time and effort I have had to put in to repairing damage caused in my personal life (and maybe my professional life if I am honest about it). I have hurt people that I care about so very much, I have embarrassed the man that I love with my whole heart, and have made my family come to me with their concerns more than once.

Why would I continue down this road? I obviously have failed to figure out how to drink without having it turn out badly every so often. In fact, this game of Russian Roulette has more live rounds in the gun than it does blanks - more sorrowful Saturday mornings trying to piece together what chaos I have wreaked upon my loved ones than not.

The only way to guarantee victory over this particularly damaging part of my life is this:

I admit that I have a problem with alcohol. And I am committed to living my life alcohol-free from this day forth.

Not because I think it will make my life better, or fix any problem that I have right now - I just know that if I drink anymore it will make my life exponentially worse. And I am tired of hurting myself by destroying relationships and opportunities just because I haven't figured out the "right formula".

And I know that there will be many people in my world who will doubt that I can follow through on this intention - and that is okay. If I focus on what everyone else expects of me, I am sure to fail. And I may fail anyway - who knows?

But I have to say that the joy and freedom that comes to me through this decision (Yay! "She's" never coming back to hurt me or anyone else!) is liberating.

I feel free. And hopeful. And ambitious. And ...well, I feel good. Something I haven't felt in a long time.

Merry Christmas to you and me! <3


Anonymous said...

Outside, it's cold, dark, black. Snow is blowing hard enough to whistle through cracks between the cabin logs. A wounded moose lies under a tree in the back yard. Pain and heartache ride alongside the falling snow.

Yet these eyes focus on a quiet little string of white Christmas lights clinging loosely to a spruce at the driveway entrance. There's Joy! There's Happiness! There's Hope!

They glow in the light's promise of an ever-present better day ... better life ... just over the hill ... arriving wrapped up like a shiny new gift ... tomorrow.

Thanks for the beautiful gift of inspiration from your wonderful writing and powerful decisions. May those gifts circle right back and wiggle their way into your heart and ever-improving life!

Merry Christmas,


Anonymous said...

I know I don't comment here very often but I have read your words and P.S. You are a wonderful writer! As I read this post today, I am wondering if it could possibly be as bad as you think it is? The people who love you will continue to love you, even if you say the wrong thing (or the truth) once in a while.

Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season =)


T said...

I love that you set an "intention". Intentions are so powerful and such a great reminder to ask for help from a strength greater than you.

Very VERY proud of you for being a witness to your life... and realizing the things that are no longer serving you.

Many good wishes, my friend.

terri said...

Jim, Your imagery is always so profound. Thank you for sharing it - and your everpresent support - with me.

Ms. D, you are a very kind friend. And I am glad that you are willing to give me the benefit of the doubt. But sadly, yes, it is as bad as (maybe worse than) I think. :(
I am looking forward to having lots of fun with you and the others and having nothing to feel ashamed about! Thank you for the Holiday Blessings, and may you and your have the very best Holiday Season as well!

T - oh, T...

Goodness. Thank you. Your words mean a lot to me. Thank you again. <3

Laoch of Chicago said...

You are the captain of the boat of your life. Steer towards warm and calm waters.

I hope that you will have a gentle and wonderful Holiday and this next year brings you peace and joy.

terri said...

Thank you, Laoch. You speak truth. :) I am sending you wishes for a jubilant and invigorating holiday and a new year full of laughter!

jockfullonuts said...

you seem to be where my son was almost a year ago. he ended up in rehab. it's been a sober year, and I have to say I have loved the new man, but he did damage to his liver and as of this writing cannot get a refill on his depression meds because his liver enzymes are still too high and, well...I'm thankful that you both are still here and for the moment, that is enough. I've no doubt you will conquer your demons. hope your holidays were above ground.

About the drink changing your personality and causing damage to those you love...swmbo said to me once...quit blaming the alcohol. admit it. you're just a bitch. hahahaha.

terri said...

Jock, next to quitting smoking, this has been the one most single important decision I have made for my own personal health and growth - and it has been awesome.

I hope your son is getting to experience liberation along with his sobriety. Will his liver get better or will they be able to try a different med?

taceon said...

:) I know if you set your mind to this you can do it just as you set your mind to quitting smoking. And just because you don't drink doesn't mean you can't go to gatherings. Take it from someone who knows. I love checking out the other things on the menus besides the alcohol.

You can do it my friend.
From one T to another T.

Anonymous said...

(((Terri Berri)))

The Human capacity for rationalization is infinite :-D

I think your ability to see through to the Truth is fantastic!


terri said...

Thank you so much for your support. And now that you know how much club soda I can ingest in one sitting, you can rest assured that I will be just fine getting together with everyone and having just as much fun. Yay us! :)


Boy, isn't that so? I can BS myself pretty darn good. I am glad that the truth still wins out. :)

Miss you!